The Fellowship Inn


Phoenix was awarded a multimillion pound grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore The Fellowship Inn in Bellingham in November 2014.

Our plans were developed after a public consultation and the grant of £4million was confirmed in October 2016. Full planning permission was awarded by Lewisham Council in November 2016.

Our £4million restoration has included the creation of a:

  • cinema
  • live music, theatre and comedy venue
  • cafe
  • restored pub
  • music hub and rehearsal space (home to Lewisham Music).

The project will also create new jobs and apprenticeships over the coming weeks. As restoration works progressed, we delivered three arts and heritage projects to capture the rich history of the building and our community.

Building works began in 2017 and the restoration works were completed 2019. The newly restored pub was officially reopened on 5 July 2019.


The Fellowship was built in the 1920s as the first ever pub on a London housing estate. It was part of a ‘Homes for Heroes’ development to ease inner city overcrowding following the First World War, and used by the former soldiers and their families for clubs, social activities and gatherings.

Later the pub acted as a training base and home for the heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper ahead of his 1963 fight with Cassius Clay, and its large theatre was graced by bands including Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

The Fellowship Inn was originally part of London County Council’s Bellingham Estate. Previously London County Council had been reluctant to allow pubs on its estates due to pressure from the temperance movement, and plans for the Fellowship were raised in Parliament during a debate on prohibition.

In 1963 the American magazine Sports Illustrated reported on Henry Cooper before his fight with Cassius Clay, who later became known as Muhammad Ali: “For weeks he had lived at the Fellowship, taking his meals there, training in the back room when a wedding reception or tea party did not interfere.”

It reported that ahead of the fight: “The menfolk [at the Fellowship Inn] munched pork pies and lifted their nightly pints of lukewarm bitter in salute to the doggerel posted over the bar by one of the regulars. It made the point that Humble Henry would soundly thrash Gaseous Cassius ‘and once again prove that very old adage: Action speaks louder than strong verbal cabbage!’”.

Over the years, parts of the building fell into serious disrepair and by the 2010s, very little of it was still in use. In 2013, it was Grade II listed by English Heritage in 2013, as a “remarkably complete example of an inter-war public house”.


Do you have memories or mementoes of The Fellowship Inn? We’d love to hear from you.


Our architects, Thomas Ford and Partners, specialise in historic buildings and are experienced in conservation and heritage projects.

Ash Ltd operated as our building contractor. 

Lewisham Music will occupy the upper two floors of the building and deliver the music hub and rehearsal spaces.

The pub operator is Electric Star Pubs and the venue is now known as The Fellowship and Star. 


We want the restored Fellowship Inn to be a building that the whole community can enjoy and there are lots of opportunities for local people and groups to get involved. Our public consultation on the restoration proposals ran from May to August 2015 and we received more than 1,400 responses.

The restoration project includes a range of arts and heritage projects delivered by local arts groups for all the community to get involved with.

These projects are designed to help tell the building's rich story, to engage local people in the restoration of the pub and to support people to develop new creative interests and skills.

Performance project: Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre will develop a performance piece, which will include small lantern parades, immersive theatre across the building and a final performance in the large theatre space at the Fellowship Inn.

Tapestry project: Stitches in Time have now created the final tapestry, with many learning to use historical and modern techniques to create a special community tapestry that reflects the history of the building. Local schools and community groups were all be involved in creating the final tapestry.

The project has evolved into an embroidery workshop on the green spaces of Whitefoot.

Echoes: The Working Party Theatre Company  are creating an interactive tour of the Fellowship, a short heritage film and a heritage website as part of an oral history project.

The arts projects are supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.

The story so far

The Fellowship Inn public consultation
05/10/2016 - 14:00
14 Randlesdown Road, Bellingham, SE6 3BT
A photography of an embroidery hoop with embroidery guides
Fellowship tapestry session
04/26/2018 - 10:30
The Green Man, 355 Bromley Road, London, SE6 2RP
Fellowship Inn - Premises Licence Consultation
05/29/2018 - 18:00
Bellingham Leisure & Lifestyle Centre, 5 Randlesdown Road, SE6 3BT
Fellowship Inn - Volunteering Marketplace
06/06/2018 - 16:00
Suttons Radio, 139-141 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6AA
Image from Hot Fuzz promotional material overlaid with text: 'Coming soon: a new cinema for your community. Have your say'
Fellowship Inn cinema focus group & Hot Fuzz screening
07/18/2018 - 17:00
The Barn, The Green Man, 355 Bromley Road, SE6 2RP
Fellowship cinema focus group
08/07/2018 - 18:00
The Green Man, 355 Bromley Road, SE6 2RP
Fellowship Inn cinema focus group
08/23/2018 - 11:30
The Barn, 355 Bromley Road, SE6 2RP
Image of hoardings at the Fellowship Inn
Cinema focus group, 29/08/18
08/29/2018 - 18:00
The Green Man, 355 Bromley Road, SE6 2RP
Photo of the outside of The Fellowship Inn
Community play taster session
11/06/2018 - 18:30
The Green Man, 355 Bromley Road, SE6 2RP
Photo of the outside of The Fellowship Inn
Community play taster session
11/11/2018 - 14:30
The Barn, 355 Bromley Road, SE6 2RP
Photo of the outside of The Fellowship Inn
Film screening - Trading Places
12/05/2018 - 18:30
The Barn, 355 Bromley Road, SE6 2RP
Photograph of someone on Bellingham Green
Bellingham Parade
02/15/2019 - 17:30
Bellingham Green SE6 3SQ